Washington: Arnold Schwarzenegger has never hesitated to call in backup.
In Terminator 2, the Arnold got an assist from the plucky, potty-mouthed kid who played John Connor as he tried to stave off the end of the world.
In 1987, to take on the Predator, Schwarzenegger joined forces with Carl Weathers – and Weathers’ biceps, during the most testosterone-laden movie handshake ever recorded.
But now Schwarzenegger’s nemesis is a billionaire who commands America’s military and has round-the-clock access to nuclear weapons.
So to strike the latest blow in his Twitter war with US President Donald Trump, Schwarzenegger has recruited, well, French President Emmanuel Macron.
I was truly honored to meet with President @EmmanuelMacron about how we can work together for a clean energy future. He’s a great leader. pic.twitter.com/MSoxjIruup
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) June 23, 2017
For those who’ve missed the previous instalments, Trump and Schwarzenegger have been involved in a months-long social media battle.
Schwarzenegger blasted Trump over his rhetoric as President and seeming divisiveness on the campaign trail. And Trump struck back where it hurt: He lampooned Schwarzenegger’s ratings on The Apprentice.
Schwarzenegger took to Twitter after Trump said he was withdrawing the United States from the 2015 Paris climate agreement. The move set back the worldwide effort to address global warming.
Afterward, in a nearly three-minute message on Twitter, Schwarzenegger said Trump was derelict in his duties as President.
“One man cannot destroy our progress,” the movie star who became governor of California said. “One man can’t stop our clean energy revolution. And one man can’t go back in time. Only I can do that.”
Schwarzenegger’s latest salvo came on Friday afternoon. It’s unclear where he and Macron are standing, although Schwarzenegger says the two are “talking about environmental issues and a green future”.
Then he pivots the camera for a Macron cameo.
“And now we will deliver together to make the planet great again,” Macron says.
Macron’s English is a little off, but the burn is on-target for anyone familiar with Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again”.
It’s not really surprising that Macron would end up on #TeamArnold.
As The Washington Post‘s James McAuley wrote: “Macron has become the anointed darling and principal spokesman of political moderates around the world, a fierce advocate of ‘radical centrism,’ globalisation and – following President Trump’s watershed decision to remove the United States from the Paris accord – curbing climate change.”
In June, after Trump withdrew the United States from the climate accord, France’s Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs altered a Trump administration video that justified the action into one that criticised it.
And Macron himself recorded a video critique.
“I do think it’s an actual mistake, both for the US and for the planet,” Macron said. “To all scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, responsible citizens who were disappointed by the decision of the President of the United States, I want to say that they will find in France a second homeland. I call on them: Come here and work with us.”
So Macron and Schwarzenegger share similar views on the environment, and both have shown no hesitation at taking a public swipe at Trump – a collaboration doesn’t seem all that far-fetched.